Summer Music Guide: Must-See Global Music
European and American house and techno might be the first thing some people associate with electronic dance music. But some local DJs have been spinning non-Western dance music for years. Their club nights are specialized yet eclectic affairs, reflecting their interests in modern, club-friendly tracks from back home and elsewhere.
The Trinidad-raised DJ Super Slice used to host radio shows at WKYS and WPGC in addition to playing clubs. When he retired from the decks, he began working with younger DJs in his Soca Syndicate and on his internet radio station Riddim City FM. Now he has come out of retirement and will be running the floor tonight at Crossroads, which is hosting dance nights yet again. Super Slice used to mix in dancehall and R&B, but says that his current focus is "more with soca and electro house, because the blend is incredible right now because of the similarities." Late tonight at Crossroads, 4103 Baltimore Ave., Bladensburg.
Since 2009, the D.C.-raised Panamanian DJ Underdog has been behind the turntables at "Afrobeat For Ya Soul," his last-Thursday-of-the-month party at Bossa. But Afrobeat isn't his only specialty: He's been known to spin kuduro, juju, and more. "I look forward to playing new records honestly," he says. "The classics are cool but Africa is churning out music like reggae was in the '70s and '80s right now.” May 31 at Bossa, 2463 18th St. NW.
Once a month at Bethesda's Parva, Kenyan DJ Oscar B.A. spins kizomba, a romantic Angolan style ideal for couples dancing. He’s been on the scene since 2003. For those not in the know, kizomba, he says, is "mainly danced in the Portuguese speaking countries (Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau)." The polished hybrid grew out of a fusion of French Caribbean zouk and Angolan Semba. Oscar B.A. DJs June 27 at Parva, 7904 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda.
Last summer, the New York Daily News reported that Buika, the Spanish-raised Guinean vocalist, was retiring at age 39. Fortunately, her retirement didn't last long. Included in NPR’s "50 Great Voices," this favorite of film director Pedro Almodovar brings her raspy, flamenco-meets-Nina Simone ballad style to the Howard Theatre on June 22. 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at 620 T St. NW. $35 in advance, $40 day of show.
Eager to reach a larger American audience, blind Malian couple Amadou & Mariam asked a handful of Americans, including Nick Zinner of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santigold, rapper Theophilus London, Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters, and members of TV on the Radio to join them on their latest album Foula. But even with all that star power, the most distinctive sounds on the CD are Amadou’s sublime guitar grooves and the pair's intertwined Afropop vocals. July 31 at 7 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, $35.
Chilean band Chico Trujillo is an example of chemistry gone right: In their case, blending ska, cumbia, and salsa results in something much more than a novelty. When the ensemble plays at Artisphere in August, they'll be joined by local DJ collective Maracuyeah, who is likely to spin a cutting-edge mix of chicha, tribal, and electro-cumbia tunes. Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd. $15-$18.